“Born To Kill” Phrase On ‘Full Metal Jacket’ Movie Art To Be Restored On Prime Video After Backlash

One of the central conceits in one of Stanley Kubrick’s most popular works will be restored on Prime Video after mysteriously disappearing. There has been an uproar in the past few days when the helmet in the poster for Full Metal Jacket appeared without the phrase “born to kill” on it, fueled by a social post by the actor who wore the helmet in the movie, Matthew Modine.

As of midday Wednesday, the altered art was still up on the movie’s Prime Video landing page (In thumbnails for the film, the original poster is used). Following inquiries by Deadline to both Amazon and Full Metal Jacket distributor Warner Bros., the updated poster was replaced by a still from the movie.

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According to sources, Warner Bros. has asked that the “detail page” for Full Metal Jacket be updated to reflect the original art. See below photos of the movie’s main page before and after the image swap.

Throughout Kubrick’s 1987 masterful commentary on war, the main character, Pvt. Joker (Modine), wears a helmet on which is scrawled “born to kill.” The helmet is also adorned with a peace sign button. For a filmmaker as careful as Kubrick, placing a phrase on the forehead of your main character is not an accident, it’s a statement.

The film’s star Modine recently posted his thoughts on the omission.

“Who decided to remove ‘BORN TO KILL?’ he wrote online above a photo of the denuded helmet. “Not only did they alter a piece of iconic art by Philip Castle, but they completely misunderstood the point of it being there. Pvt. Joker wears the helmet with ‘BORN TO KILL’ and the peace button as a statement about ‘the duality of man.’ “

“The duality of man” is a consistent theme in Kubrick’s work, as are Jungian themes, which are explicitly at work in the statement and pin on the helmet.

In one scene, a colonel asks Modine’s Pvt. Joker, “You write ‘born to kill’ on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What’s that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?”

“No, Sir,” answers Joker.

“What is it supposed to mean?”

Joker replies, “The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.”

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